TASCAM DA-38 Digital Multitrack
So you thought you finally had this digital multitrack thing figured out, right? You had a handle on tape-based machines versus hard disk recorders. You had calculated out exactly how much it would cost you to put one of these dream machines in your studio. But suddenly here's a new player in the game: the TASCAM DA-38. And with a list price of just $3499, this Hi-8mm format unit may indeed be the right machine at the right price for you.
The TASCAM DA-88 has received a ton of critical acclaim since its initial release and has earned a lofty position as the multitrack of choice for the audio post-production market, due in no small part to its many modular video sync options. However, many musicians found its $4799 list price to be just a bit too steep and didn't need all of its features. While the DA-38 owes its heritage to the incredible DA-88, it has a feature list and price specially designed for musicians.
The Hi-8mm format provides one hour and 48 minutes of audio on a standard 120 Hi-8 videocassette tape, meaning you won't have to switch tapes part of the way through a project. The DA-38 also features a rugged transport, ergonomic design and features specifically aimed at today's musicians, plus it offers a full complement of optional accessories like remote controllers, MIDI machine Control (MMC) interfaces and a whole lot more.
Of course, since it's from TASCAM, the people who have a long history of building superior multitracks, its sonic quality will absolutely blow you away with the very same sound that earned the DA-88 the coveted Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Technical Development. Delivering a near-flat 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response and a dynamic range that exceeds 92 dB, 18-bit, 64 times oversampling Delta-Sigma A/D converters and 20-bit, 8 times oversampling Delta-Sigma D/A converters, the DA-38 has the audio specs you're looking for, as well as the very latest in A/D and D/A designs.
The DA-38 provides you with the two industry-standard sampling rates (44.1 and 48kHz), ensuring full ompatibility with other digital equipment. And of course, DA-38 tapes are fully interchangeable and compatible with DA-88s, so any combination of recorders can be linked together for up to 128 tracks of superb digital audio.
We mentioned features earlier, and the DA-38 really delivers. For example, the unit's Digital Track Copy function enables you to perform assembly composite edits that provide tremendous creative freedom. Imagine recording three separate takes of a guitar solo on three different tracks and then assembling them into one unified "best-of" performance onto a fourth track. Digital Track Copy can be used on a single DA-38 or between two units. What's almost more amazing is how easily this can be accomplished from the front panel via the DA-38's simplified, menu-driven interface.
Another innovation is the DA-38's built-in Electronic Patchbay. This intuitive function gives you the reedom to easily route any input to any track - right from the front panel. No need to be reaching around to the back panel or messing with patch cables. With this feature, you can permanently leave a mic preamp connected (for example) to input one and still have the freedom to route that input signal o any track you want.
Want more? Because the DA-38's transport is so precise, you can define tighter punch in/out points than previously available in the analog domain, while the unit's variable digital crossfade assures absolutely seamless punch-ins under a variety of conditions. Or how about built-in Track Advance and Delay, which lets you slide individual tracks around in time to get just the right feel. The range for track advance/delay is -200 to 7200 samples, enough to change the feel of any track or instrument. You'll even find a handy test tone generator built into the DA-38 for calibrating the meters of your mixer to make sure all signal levels are the same at both board and recorder.
The DA-38's operating system is a real breeze to navigate. With a very clearly defined combination of SHIFT and MENU functions, you'll have the unit configured to your needs in minutes. You probably won't even have to consult the owner's manual to get you going. That's because the best thing about the DA-38 is that you already know how to use it. Unlike some other formats and hard disk systems, all the DA-38's transport controls are as simple to use as those on your old analog deck: PLAY, RECORD, FF, REW and STOP are right where you expect them to be. And recording with the DA-38 is as simple as inserting a Hi-8mm tape, feeding a signal to any input, setting proper levels and pressing PLAY and RECORD.
But the DA-38 is not a closed system. There are options galore, more than we have room to tell you about. So do yourself a favor and grab the phone right now. Your Sweetwater sales engineer is waiting to tell you more and give you a special low price on a TASCAM DA-38 of your very own!
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